In 1990 a small group of artist/holographers, selected by their peers, convened a meeting at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, to investigate both the feasibility and the merit of holding a regularly scheduled conference for artists, critics and others in the field of fine art holography. This first International Congress on Art in Holography was documented by the creation of a printed report at the conclusion of the Congress. This portion of the art-in-holography website attempts to duplicate that document as faithfully as possible by presenting the same content in a new electronic form. My preparatory remarks from the Congress follow here and the remainder may be accessed from the index on the left of this page or at the bottom. Videotape and auditape documentation of the Congress proceedigs are kept in the archives at Saint Mary's Cushwa Leighton Library and are available through the library for public access.

Douglas E. Tyler
Chair, International Congress on Art in Holography, Saint Mary's College,
Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, July 18 - 22, 1990

Co-chair, Art in Holography2, Nottingham, UK.


Some preparatory remarks

Artists have been involved with holography since it was first brought to practical form by Emmett Leith and Juris Upatnieks in Ann Arbor in the early 1960's. It is a curious fact that over these many years most of these pioneering individuals worked in relative isolation, with little opportunity for a continuing dialoque with their peers, not to mention a link to other artists working in newer media. To be sure there have been meetings and exhibits where some of their number did gather, but often the purpose was peripheral to art and any aestehic focus was secondary at best.

The gathering which is partially documented in this publication was, by design, an experiment whose purpose was to attempt to overcome the barriers described above as well as many others faced by artist/holographers throughout the world. Questions of language differences, travel distances and the nature of issues critical to artist/holographers in a multi-cultural forum made the planning process difficult. Eventually, it was decided that an experimental forum would be held in which 35 artists would participate as representatives to help determine whether such a meeting had value and relevance, and if so, what form should it ultimately take for a larger, all-inclusive audience. Because of the exploratory nature of the gathering, this pubication is more of a report than a presentation of proceedings. Its purpose is to document some material from sessions of the congress, attempt to answer some of the crucial questions posed above and establish a base of information for future gatherings of artist/holographers.

These preparatory remarks offer an opprtunity to extend thanks to the great number of persons; artists, benefactors, speakers and the like who helped to make this congress a reality. As with any major event it is difficult to decide where to begin the process of thanking so many individuals. Certainly all the representatives would agree that much of the vitality of the congress came from the insightful and eloquent presentations of our five speakers. John Hanhardt, Head of the film and video department, Whitney Museum of American Art, Peter Zek, President, German Holographic Society, Chris Titterington, Department of prints, photographs and Designs, Victoria and Albert Museum, Rene Paul Barrilleaux, Curator of Special Exhibitions, Madison Art Center (Madsion, Wisconsin), and Dr. Jeffrey Jacob, Chair, Music Department, Saint Mary's College . Each of these individuals not only spoke but demonstrated their committment to the call of this congress by spending additional time with the artist/holographers present - exploring issues, critiqueing work and so forth. There can be little question that their wisdom broadened the perspective of all involved and we are grateful to them for this.

Finally, it goes without saying that we as artists are very grateful to the sponsors of this Congress and its accompanying exhibition. The tremendous support of the Shearwater Foundation and Ms. Posy Jackson Smith cannot be given credit comparable to their contributions. Likewise, The Board of Regents, Administration, Faculty and Staff of Saint Mary's College contributed resources, expertise and energy that were invaluable in bringing this multiculutral group together to explore the issues at hand. Mnay international agencies gave generously to the effort as well among them: The Canada Council, Ottawa, Ontario, The Danish Arts Council, Copenhagen, Denmark, The Goethe Society, Chicago, The Japan Foundation, Tokyo, Japan and The Indiana Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts. To all these groups our heartfelt thanks. It is our earnest hope that what has come forth from this Congress will serve to further develop our understanding of holography as an artist's medium and to aid in the formulation of artists gatherings in the future.


Planning Committee

Douglas E. Tyler, Chair (United States)
Margaret Benyon (United Kingdom)
Andrew Pepper (United Kingdom)
Marie Andree Cossette (Canada)

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